In The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. E-mail your suggestions for In The Know items to email@example.com. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.
Today you should know that the tax reform task force recommended more cuts to the top income tax rate, partially paid for by ending broad-based tax credits relied on by hundreds of thousands of low and moderate income Oklahomans. The latest Census numbers show that the income gap between whites and non-whites in Oklahoma has grown. OK Policy previously released a fact sheet on the black-white unemployment gap, which is a major contributor to the income gap. Two Oklahoma centers for the developmentally disabled are preparing to close down because the state does not have money to repair the aging facilities.
The Tulsa Initiative Blog examines how we can move from good child care to quality early learning. $20 million in federal roads funds are at risk because Oklahoma has not complied with new safety requirements for commercial truck drivers. A study sponsored by Oklahoma and Kansas has developed a plan for expanding passenger rail service to Kansas City. House and Senate Appropriations Chairs said repairs to the Capitol building would be first in line for a bond issue this year, but they would only favor it if it went to a vote of the people.
Incidents of suicide in Tulsa have reached a record high. The DHS Commission will meet Wednesday to discuss amendments to DHS’ settlement over foster care abuses made by the Governor and legislative leaders. The nomination of Oklahoma City Assistant U.S. Attorney Arvo Mikkanen to a federal judgeship appears to be dead after the Senate refused to act. The Tulsa World discussed two good arguments for collecting online sales taxes.
The Number of the Day is the expected amount of revenue that will be collected through the state’s personal income tax next year. In today’s Policy Note, Stateline examines the new approach by the Obama administration to give states more flexibility in defining “essential benefits” that must be covered by insurance under the new health care law.